Sunday, February 20, 2011

Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council just can't stop engaging in duplicitious tactics

I caught this piece from TeachtheFacts, an excellent organization in Maryland.

"Our friend," Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council was on a local Maryland Fox News program being interviewed recently about the marriage equality bill which just passed  and is now headed for a vote in the Senate. He was pitted against DC Metro PFLAG member David Fishback.

Of course I am going to be accused by some folks of being biased, but Sprigg comes across as meandering and totally clueless on several points, especially when he talks about the "ideal" family environment for children. He says - and these are his words - "the ideal family form for children is to be raised by their own biological mother and father who are committed to one another  in a lifetime marriage"

That simply illustrates the emptiness of Sprigg's argument. Not all children are raised by "their own biological mother and father." Sprigg just omitted a plethora of families.

And according to Teach the Facts, the steering of the argument into the direction of children in families didn't exactly work in Sprigg's direction:

Peter launched into one of his famous "the research shows that" speeches. Luckily, the announcer, Laura Evans, had her notes in front of her . . .

Evans comes back:
Peter, there have actually been three decades of research on this matter, the American Psychological Association has found that there is no scientific evidence that parental effectiveness is related to sexual orientation. Lesbian and gay parents are as likely, they say, as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children. What do you say to those studies, twenty-five years worth of studies?

Peter responds by criticizing the scholarship of the research.
Well, those studies, the studies that have focused specifically on gay parenting, have suffered from severe methodological difficulties, very small sample sizes, convenience sampling where they're not a truly random sample, and by not being compared with actual married biological mothers and fathers, in comparing them with for example single parents instead, so I think that we can draw very few firm conclusions from that body of research, and we should be looking instead to the much broader and much larger and much more reliable body of research on family structure in general.

You got that? Sprigg says that the studies looking at same-sex households shouldn't be considered credible because - amongst other bad explanations brought up by him - the researcher didn't compare these households to heterosexual households.

But he didn't have a problem Wednesday with using research that didn't compare the two dynamics when he published a piece in The Christian Post criticizing same-sex marriage.

Not to worry, though. Fishback answers Sprigg back rather admirably, especially pointing out that the research looking at same-sex households was peer-reviewed, i.e. looked at by other researchers before being published.

If stuff like this keeps up, I would suggest that the Family Research Council get a new "point man" to fight against marriage equality.

It's bad enough that Sprigg seems to be losing the argument, but it's worse that he just unconsciously repeats talking points as if readng a grocery list, displaying absolutely no conviction in them.

Worse for Sprigg and FRC,  but good for us.

Related post:

Peter Sprigg won't address hate group charges but will lie about same-sex households

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